What is a FLUM? What is the purpose? The future land use map is a community’s visual guide to future planning. The future land use map should bring together most if not all of the elements of the comprehensive plan such as natural resources, economic development, housing and transportation. Source: University of Wisconsin 3/2019
Recent confusion over the differences in zoning and future land use, seem to have stirred the community pot. Living near the greenway, I’m aware of previous errors in zoning to conservation. The intent of acquiring greenway was to create land with conservation zoning or future land use. Some adjacent properties were not acquired as a part of the greenway, but somehow were changed in error and that error appears to have carried over to the future land use map as well. Anyway, the drama over this change continued as those unaware of the original reason for the zoning or how land changes to conservation, questioned the development of land zoned for residential use, but still showing conservation on the “FUTURE” land use map. It helps to know the history and look at the dark green areas on the map above. See the link and full version, if you’re curious. The light green and dark green areas are quite large, but seeing properties from ground level can make it difficult to understand just how much natural space we have on the island, preserved with recreational or conservation zoning.
After damages, actually, from 2 hurricanes beginning with Hurricane Matthew in 2016, our marina has been operating at a very reduced capacity. you can see in the above picture, taken on February 4th, 2019, the mud flats are forming in most of the areas occupied by dock space. The following year, Hurricane Irma impacted the area and, although less dramatic, brought “different” damage. Wind direction, tides and storm direction makes each storm unique. Hurricanes aren’t necessarily that common in Fernandina and we’re actually rated in the top 10 safe cities on Home Insurance’s blog. See the link….https://homeinsurance.com/blog/10-safest-florida-cities-from-hurricanes/
Due to damages caused by Hurricane Matthew and the pending repairs, Fernandina Harbor Marina will close Friday, November 23, 2018. This will include dinghy, short term, transient docks, the mooring field and the boat ramp. The marina is scheduled to reopen Summer 2019. Staff is on site from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.City of Fernandina Beach Website, Feb 5, 2019
MARINA REPAIR STATUS –
PART 1. The marina is still without the use of the wave attenuator. This includes the fuel dock, pump out and large vessel dockage. Bids were published for the repair/replacement of the wave attenuator and a contract is in place with Fender Marine. Mobilization is schedule for later in November and work is expected to last until June of 2019.
PART 2. The Southern Basin Reconfiguration and Dredging is also on schedule. The City Commission awarded the bid to Brance Diversified. This work will include the removal of docks form the southern basin, the dredging of the southern basin and the installation of new docks that will follow a north to south alignment. This reconfiguration is expected to minimize siltation and prolong the period between dredging project. Brance is scheduled to mobilize later this month and work is expected to last until April 2019.
PART 3. The marina will be closed to transient, short term, dinghy and mooring dockage starting November 23rd.
I’m going to try to avoid the question and briefly talk about my view of paid parking schemes and beach access. While I dislike paid parking, when I’m paying, I also understand why this may eventually become necessary. When there are not enough spaces to supply the community need, someone will be denied access. Are we at that point? Should we ever consider parking as a revenue generator? In my opinion, we aren’t at that point, but the day is approaching.
Our current commission is, once again, approaching parking from the revenue generation point of view. Seeing a gate to accessing a resource like the beach as a revenue tool, in my opinion, eventually leads to future potential for waste. It is fairly easy to add a tax, creating a cost to access, but difficult to remove a tax. I would prefer to see parking control (time limits) as a way to recirculate vehicles or insure access to parks, restaurants and activities at Main Beach, assuming we’re talking about paid parking at Main Beach. The picture below is from earlier today at about 3:45PM. It was overcast and cool out, but you can see available space. Restaurant use would peak in the evening and beach use should peak in early afternoon. The variety of uses will increase use of the park, but before Salt Life or an improved Sandbar/Salty Pelican, businesses like the PuttPutt were not quite as busy.
Sooner or later, we will see increased control of parking as the population increases west of the bridge. I see this as a mixed blessing, with tourism dollars and revenue from daily visitors making improvements on the island possible. I would say to anticipate the eventuality of parking controls, but please try to avoid seeing any kind of parking control in terms of revenue generation. Companies specializing in providing equipment will justify charging for parking. The justification….if it happens in the rest of Florida, it must be a great idea. As a former commissioner, I would say politicians are not usually great stewards of tax dollars. The stakeholders in parking are the public using the park, but also the businesses dependent on reasonable access. Both the public and surrounding business will ask or beg for help when the time comes.
Parking is a key piece of the transportation puzzle. As a limited resource that’s often in high demand, SDOT manages on-street parking to:
- balance competing needs (transit, customers, residents, shared vehicles),
- move people and goods efficiently,
- support business district vitality, and
- create livable neighborhoods.
Small cruise ships, a rebuilt marina, luxury townhomes, remodeling of the Baptist Sunday School building, a downtown putt-putt, brewery, a new location for the distillery, apartments on Atlantic at a formerly blighted corner and a mystery project at the old “Boat House” are projects underway. All are slated for 2019/2020 completion and should be very positive additions.
Creative vision by the buyer and persistence by the broker resulted in the sale of a Historic District fixture, “The Boat House”. While I have seen many of the redevelopment details, plans can change. I will say the plans look exceptional and will bring an exciting addition to Downtown Fernandina. Across from City Hall, this is one of the last large sites with a view, plentiful nearby parking and almost directly across from the Hampton Inn and Suites on 2nd Street.
If you’re looking for a broker with experience and persistence, give me a call during or after hours. With experience selling a variety of area commercial properties, I’m more than happy to assist or offer a second opinion. Some past closed sales or listings include sites like the new Dollar General on SR 107, Reflections of Nature’s new site on Arbor Lane, 316 Centre Street (being redeveloped), 30 South 2nd Street and the former Pecan Roll at 122 South 8th Street. I hope I’m competitive with service and rates, but let me know what you need.
In 2018, I added a commercial drone license to improve client service, offer more frequent updates and, more than you might imagine, inspections of more inaccessible locations. It is also becoming an enjoyable way to promote the diversity here on Amelia Island.
Periodically, I have a conversation with someone about development and offering incentives instead of taking away value from the landowner/investor. In talking with a friend earlier today, we both agreed it would make so much sense to move density from one property to another. I brought up one developed property and the loss of affordable potential after years of delay eliminated more and more of the profit. If only “incentives”, not obstruction, had been a part of the conversation!
TDR stands for “Transfer of Development Rights”. Consider a purchase of one property by one developer or by the city. That property might have a certain number of units in density. If you create a mechanism to bank that total density and offer it as either an incentive to that developer or another property owner, you could either sell those units of density, bargain with them to incentivize affordable housing or accomplish another goal. The key is avoiding a cost to the taxpayer, while incentivizing a change.
What is ‘Transfer of Development Rights?’ A zoning tool enabling the transfer development potential from areas the community seeks to conserve to areas to areas it seeks to be developed
A mechanism that permanently protects undeveloped land without the expenditure of public funds
Source: New Hampshire Transfer of Development Summary 12/10/18. http://www.snhpc.org New Hampshire Southern Planning Commission
Consider the cost of land and limited tax dollars. Doesn’t it make sense to consider alternatives to do the same thing?
If you don’t know me, I’m a former Commissioner and Mayor here in Fernandina. I’ve known Bradley’s family for most of my life and they have a long history here in local business and in political life, but that has nothing to do with my endorsement. My reasoning is below, but I see Bradley frequently. Usually he’s in the local YMCA at the same time. I met him long before he decided to run for office and immediately liked his demeanor. He impresses me as fair and honest. He impressed me as genuine, sincere, respectful and exactly the kind of personality I would want to see in local government.
Age is a factor. The commission average age is over 60 and Mayor Miller is the only current member under 60. I feel we are under-represented in some age brackets and it would be healthy to offer a voice to those voters in the interest of diversity. Current Commissioners
History is a factor for me. Bradley is a native and at least third generation island resident. He cares about his family, ranging across all age brackets, but he also has ties with graduation as “Valedictorian” of Fernandina Beach High School and many local friendships.
Yes, his father is a politician. You’d need to be blind not to see the name and associate it with Aaron Bean, our State Senator. I see this as an advantage for Nassau, given the obvious tie and invaluable insights offered to a son.
Eduction is a factor. His industrial engineering degree from the University of Florida will offer insight into issues like the marina, road maintenance needs, beach re-nourishment, drainage and more. Many issues are land use issues, but many issues in front of a commission have more to do with being reasonable and being able to plan for keeping the city running smoothly. Maintaining this or anticipating the cost is important. Any background with land use, construction, engineering or business, lends itself to the position.
Employment is a factor. Bradley works full-time for a local mill. Whether people recognize this or not, we are still a working community in significant proportion. Rayonier, WestRock, Lignotech and the Port of Fernandina employees are significant. If you count retirees and current employees, there is a need to find a voice for jobs and economic diversity. Our biggest issue on the island is in keeping this diversity alive. Our healthy economy is more resistant because we are not singularly dependent upon tourism, unlike many small coastal Florida cities.
Involvement is a factor for me. I won’t name his opponent, but promising to be “full-time” is definitely not a good thing. Understanding the position is meant to be representative, not supervisory, is important. Often commissioners become hyper involved in meetings with staff or in a role stepping on or over the boundary defined in the charter. Bean understands this. I believe the position of staff attorney came after a commissioner in years past spent “MANY” hours camped at a local attorney’s office billing the “research all my questions” time to the taxpayer. No, running as a commissioner is not the same as City Manager. The commission as a whole can give direction to a manager. Individual commissioners or even a Mayor cannot.
The elected position as a city commissioner is meant to offer representation. Voters should see people in office reflecting the local demographics and ages. We’ve had poorly prepared commissioners and commissioners promising to be “full-time”. We have commissioners professing to have experience or be more entitled to a position. As a former commissioner, I believe we need people willing to learn and able to reflect the voter’s views. Some run with negativity, insulting their opponents and some simply ask for your vote. We never want someone attempting to be a “full time commissioner”. This usually means they’re interfering in the day-to-day management of the city. We have a government with 5 commissioners and a Mayor with mostly ceremonial power. He or she is not entitled to any more voice than other commissioners.
So, that said, I hope you consider diversity, education, understanding the limits of the position and long history here on the island when you vote. My vote is going to Bean and I hope you’ll join me.
Looking less crowded than we would like, progress is being made.